A future conservative nominee could affect issues ranging from womens reproductive health to LGBT rights
When, merely weeks after taking office, Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the supreme court, the freshly minted US president made good on a central promise of his campaign: to replace the late justice Antonin Scalia with a bona fide conservative.
That moment portended what is shaping up to be among the most indelible of Trump’s triumphs- the reshaping of the federal judiciary with the appointment of dozens of judges with an ideological bent toward the administration’s agenda.
Republicans are working with Trump to make a record-breaking number of appointments to federal tribunals. These new, largely young, white men will be in a position to rule on legislation that could change America for years.
But the most contentious appointment would be a second nomination to the highest court in the land. The supreme court has over decades delivered landmark decisions on issues from abortion to affirmative action and same-sex matrimony. The possibilities for Trump to install another justice on the nine-seat bench, some legal expert argue, could have profound repercussions on issues ranging from women’s reproductive health to LGBT rights.
With speculation mount over the possible retirement of supreme court justice Anthony Kennedy, Trump could have a lasting impact on reshaping America’s most important court.
” If President Trump fills another vacancy on the court it will have an enormous effect ,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of Berkeley School of Law at the University of California.
” It will create the most conservative court since the mid-1 930 s ,” he added.” It would entail a majority to overrule Roe v Wade and to allow states to prohibit abortions, to eliminate all manner of affirmative action, to eliminate constitutional limits on illegal police conduct .”
The president himself underscored the power of future vacancies earlier this year, where reference is tweeted that Republican” must ALWAYS hold the Supreme court !”.
While it is not unusual for presidents to appoint supreme court justices with similar ideological tilts, Trump’s comments all but reinforced that he is unlikely to nominate a consensus pick if the opportunity. In November, the president updated his shortlist of nominees for a hypothetical vacancy, adding to a roster of proven judicial conservatives.
While the likelihood of a pending vacancy is far from corroborated, judicial watchers have set their sights on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a progressive icon who turned 85 this year, and Kennedy, a critical sway election who has been the subject of retirement rumors for the second straight year.
The reality TV star met with the US president to discuss prison reform, and wore the playful French brand for the occasion. Was she trolling Trump or making a bigger statement?
It was always too big an ask for Kim Kardashian-West- an entrepreneur, influencer and occasional campaigner who has built considerable financial, social and cultural capital on the back of publicity- to wear something unremarkable for Wednesday’s meeting with Donald Trump at the White House.
But few would have been able to predicted she would wear a black suit by the French style house, Vetements, with the brand’s name sewed across her crotch, only visible above the top of Trump’s desk in the Oval office.
Crotch-logo aside, the label is a savvy option. Vetements is a hip way collective, overseen by Demna Gvasalia, a Georgian decorator who is well known within the industry for creating meme-friendly clothes at amazingly high prices, heavily imbued with irony. Simply as his famous 2016 DHL T-shirt seemed to be a comment on global capitalism but went viral as an image, the choreographed image of Trump and Kardashian-West behind Trump’s always-empty desk will likely do the same.
Jean-Claude Juncker pledges retaliation as EU companies face 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminiumTrump imposes tariffs business live
The United States and its traditional allies are on the brink of a full-scale trade war after European and Canadian leaders reacted swiftly and angrily to Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium producers.
The president of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, promised immediate reprisal after the US commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, told EU companies would face a 25% responsibility on steel and a 10% responsibility on aluminium from midnight on Thursday.
However, Ross sent shudders through global financial markets when he said insufficient progression had been constructed in talks with three of the US’s traditional allies to reduce America’s trade deficit and that the waiver was being lifted.
Wall Street slumped as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down more than 250 points as investors sold off shares in manufacturers and corporations with global reaching. Shares across Europe also declined.
The move from Washington- which comes at a time when Trump is also threatening protectionist action against China- triggered an immediate and angry response from Canada, Brussels and from individual European capitals.
Juncker “ve called the” US move ” unjustified” and said the EU had no choice but to hit back with tariffs on US goods and a case at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva.
” We will defend the Union’s interests, in full compliance with international trade statute ,” he added. Brussels has already announced that it would target Levi’s jeans, Harley-Davidson motorbikes and bourbon whiskey.
The UK, which has hopes of agreeing a trade liberalisation deal with the US after Brexit, carried alarm at Ross’s announcement.
Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, told Britain would not rule out countermeasures or taking Washington to the WTO, which arbitrates on global trade disputes.
Speaking to Sky News he attacked the tariffs as “patently absurd” and recommended the US to think again.” It would be a great pity if we ended up in a tit-for-tat trade dispute with our closest friends .”
A spokesman for Number 10 said the government was ” profoundly disillusioned” the US had decided to apply the tariffs and that Theresa May would raise the issue with Trump at next week’s meeting of the G7 industrial nations in Canada.
” The UK and other European Union countries are close allies of the US and should be permanently and fully exempted from the American measures on steel and aluminium .”
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, called the US tariffs illegal and a mistake, while the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, issued an immediate like-for-like reaction- announcing tariffs of up to 25% on US importations worth up to 16.6 bn Canadian dollars( PS9. 6bn ), which was the total value of Canadian steel exportations to the US last year. The tariffs will encompass steel and aluminium as well as orange juice, whiskey and other food products.
With the White House having used national security legislation to introduce the tariffs, Trudeau called the measures an “affront” to Canadians who had opposed alongside their American comrades in arms.” That Canada could be considered a national security threat to the US is inconceivable .”
Canada’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, went further calling her country’s $16.6 bn retaliatory tariffs” the strongest trade action Canada has taken in the postwar era. This is a very strong response. It is a proportionate reply, it is perfectly reciprocal … this is a very strong Canadian action in response to a very bad US decision .”
Mexico also denounced the move, saying it” deeply regrets and disapproves” the US decision.
The economics minstry said it would adopt equivalent measures on a variety of products, including flat steel, lamps, pork legs and shoulders, sausages and food preparations, apples, grapes, cranberries, various cheeses, and other products,” up to an amount comparable to damage caused by the United States’ action “.
It added:” This measure will be in force for as long as the US government preserves the imposed tariffs .”
Hopes remain that the fallout could be contained. Analysts at the research firm Oxford Economics said the economic hit for Europe would be well below 0.1% of GDP, as steel and aluminium merely make up a small part of the bloc’s overall exports around the world. However, they warned a tit-for-tat escalation leading to tariffs on other goods, such as vehicles, would have dire repercussions for global trade.
Last week, the Trump administration launched a national security investigated by car imports on national security grounds that could lead to tariffs on automobiles from Europe, Japan and South Korea, should trade tensions spiraling further out of control.
For the struggling UK steel industry, the news of US tariffs inspired fresh alarm. The director of UK Steel, Gareth Stace, told:” President Trump had already loaded the gun and today, we now know that the US administration has unfortunately fired it and potentially started a damaging trade war.
” Since President Trump stated his plans to impose blanket tariffs on steel imports nearly three months ago, the UK steel sector had hoped for the best but still dreaded the worst. With the expiration of the EU exemption now confirmed to take effect tomorrow[ Friday, 1 June ], unfortunately our cynicism was justified and we will now find damage not only to the UK steel sector but also the US economy .”
Representatives for the US metal industry also expressed disappointment.” Make no mistake: restricting the raw material render in the U.S. and imposing tariffs on imports from our closest trading partners places American producers directly in harm’s style ,” said Paul Nathanson of The Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users.
The CBI cautioned the EU against overreacting to Washington’s move. Ben Digby, international director at the employers’ organisation, told:” The president’s measures are deeply concerning for firms in the UK, for close trading partners and across supplying chains .”
Trump announced his tariffs in March as a route of protecting US firms from inexpensive imports but Digby said the problem was caused by global overproduction of the metals and needed to be tackled jointly by Brussels and Washington.
” There are no winners in a trade war, which will damage prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic. These tariffs could lead to a protectionist domino effect, damaging firms, employees and consumers in the US, UK and many other trading partners. Now is not the time for any disproportionate escalation, and we urge the EU to consider this when initiating its response .”
But neither side showed any immediate sign of being willing to defuse the tension. Cecilia Malmstrom, the European trade commissioner, said the Brussels response would be proportionate and in accordance with WTO rules. Ross shrugged off the threat of EU retaliation, saying it would have little impact on the US economy.
Manfred Weber, the leader of the European People’s party, the largest group in the European parliament and a key ally of German chancellor Angela Merkel, warned that treating the EU as the “enemy” would damage US consumers.
” Europe does not want a trade conflict. We believe in a fair trade regime from which everybody benefits ,” he told.
” We have tried everything to build dialogue and mutual understanding predominate. If President Trump decides to treat Europe as an adversary, we will have no choice but to defend European industry, European jobs, European interests .”
Ross blamed insufficient progress in talks with Mexico and Canada over changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement( Nafta) for the US’s decision to slap tariffs on its two neighbours.
Mexico’s under-secretary of foreign trade, Juan Carlos Baker, tweeted:” Mexico categorically rejects any unilateral, protectionist measures that distort trading in North America .”
China, too, warned that it would respond with tit-for-tat action of its own.
Late-night comics discussed the cancellation of Roseanne after the stars racist tweet about a former Obama adviser
Late-night hosts on Tuesday discussed the cancellation of the hit sitcom Roseanne after its namesake star posted a racist tweet comparing Valerie Jarrett, the African American former adviser to Barack Obama, to an ape.
” We were off for a week and it is really absolutely amazing to be back on the air ,” Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah began.” We got the British remake of Get by. God himself got #MeToo’d. The North Korea summit crashed harder than Solo. Harvey Weinstein got to live out his handcuff fantasy. And the NFL announced that players are welcome to publicly protest, as long as they do it in private .”
” But let’s move on today’s big news breaking in Hollywood ,” he told, before depicting news segments encompassing ABC’s decision to cancel its highest-rated present after Roseanne Barr’s tweets.
” That’s right, Roseanne’s show’s cancelled because she tweeted out racist stuff ,” Noah continued.” You know who I blame for this? Donald Trump, that’s who. He makes all of his supporters think they’re as impervious as he is .”
” Come on, everyone, you can tweet what it is you want ,” the host joked, imitating Trump.” Nothing happens !”
” But it’s not the same for everyone else ,” Noah added.” It’s like he’s superman telling normal people to follow his result .”
Meanwhile, ABC’s own Jimmy Kimmel discussed Roseanne and his own network’s response to her behavior.
” While we’re on the subject of terrible things posted online today, the biggest narrative of the working day today was Roseanne ,” Kimmel said.
” You’re not going to believe this ,” the host added, sarcastically,” but she tweeted something outrageous. I know. The chairman did it, too. It’s crazy .”
Kimmel went on:” ABC decided to cancel their highest-rated prove, Roseanne, following a tweet in which Roseanne compared an African American woman, a former adviser to chairperson Obama, to an ape, which did not sit well with ABC management or anyone with a brain .”
The host then has pointed out that pulling the plug on Roseanne, which just recently finished the first season of its reboot, and its 10 th overall,” is a big blow to business “.
” We don’t have much on this network ,” Kimmel joked.” We’re hoping the NBA finals goes 11 games this year. We’re still airing America’s funniest home videos .”
” Roseanne was very bigly hit for ABC ,” he continued.” Hear me out: merely because Roseanne is gone, doesn’t mean the whole show has to go. The indicate must go on, that’s what we say in show business .”
” With that told, I have an idea that I think induces this work for everyone ,” the host concluded, before airing a taunt advertising for Dan, a sitcom featuring all the Roseanne characters, except Roseanne, and starring her husband Dan Connor, played by John Goodman.
The memo presented three options without endorsing any of them: conducting a” red squad/ blue team” exert to” highlight uncertainties in climate science “; more formally reviewing the social sciences under the Administrative Procedure Act; or deciding to only” ignore, and not seek to characterize or question, the science were carried out in Federal agencies and outside entities .”
In short, the White House considered’ debating’ established climate science, casting doubt on scientists’ conclusions, or just ignoring them. Accepting and/ or acting in the conclusions of the scientific experts is not an option they’re willing to consider.
Climate denial is very expensive
Meanwhile, a newspaper published in Nature last week concluded that limiting global warming to 1.5 degC above pre-industrial temperatures would save more than $20 tn as compared to a temperature of 2degC. The carbon pollution cuts needed to achieve the 1.5 degC target would cost about $300 bn more than efforts to meet 2degC. In other words, the economic benefits of the more aggressive target would outweigh its costs by a factor of about 70 -to-1.
Basically, taking aggressive action to curb global warming would save the world a lot of money, and it would especially benefit the economies in southern, conservative nations. But it wouldn’t be good for the fossil fuel industry, and the Trump administration has prioritized short-term corporate profits above all else, including American welfare and lives.
The case for the Trump administration approach- ignoring and casting doubt on the conclusions of climate science experts- is that of a bad gambler. It’s not a 100% consensus; perhaps the less than 3% of climate contrarians are onto something. Perhaps the experts are wrong and climate change won’t be so bad.
If the stakes were something inconsequential like a Trump steak, that would be fine, but it should go without saying that betting the future of humanity and life on Earth on a less than 3% long shot is a bad idea. The stakes could not is greater. Prudent risk management dictates that we should be taking serious steps to mitigate the chances of such a disastrous outcome. That’s why Americans buy home and auto and health insurance. It’s why fewer than 17% of Americans today are smokers, down from 42% in 1965.
Saving the Republican Party
Not merely is global warming denial terrible policy, but it’s bad for the long-term health of the Republican Party. There’s a climate change generation gap– most young Americans realize that humans are causing global warming, and young conservatives want their leaders to do something about it. Climate change impacts will only become more severe over day, and today’s youth know that they’ll have to live with the results of our actions today. They simply can’t afford denial, and the GOP hazards losing these voters forever by willfully dismissing the problem that poses an existential menace to young Americans.
There are a few glimmers of hope in the party. Trump’s new Nasa administrator now accepts climate science. Eight House Republicans signed a letter to leaders of the Appropriations Committee urging them to reject any provisions in the 2019 spending bill that would undermine efforts to combat climate change. The conservative Climate Leadership Council proposed a free market, small government, revenue-neutral carbon tax ready to go as soon as the GOP can elect a leadership that’s willing to make a great climate change deal.
But right now the GOP is still stuck being, as Governor Bobby Jindal( R-LA) describing him five years ago,” the stupid party .” Its leadership won’t even consider the possibility that 97% of climate science experts are right. That denial is going to be very expensive, and as Americans increasingly accept the realities of climate change, it will also land the GOP on the endangered species list.
The decision to axe the reach sitcom resurgence aims debates over the off-screen bigotry shown by its starring, Roseanne Barr
ABC’s decision to cancel Roseanne- after its eponymous superstar compared Valerie Jarrett, a black former adviser to Barack Obama, to an ape- send growls through the entertainment industry. Barr’s tweet, in which she also “joked” that Jarrett had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, caused a public outcry, resulting in swift condemnations of Barr from her own casting mates and, ultimately, the network’s unprecedented decision to pull the plug on its ratings juggernaut merely one week after its season finale.
In a statement constructed hours after Barr’s tweets, which quickly prompted calls for the network to discipline her, ABC Entertainment chairwoman Channing Dungey called Roseanne’s post” abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values”, announcing the sitcom would be cancelled. In a tweet, Disney CEO Bob Iger echoed Dungey’s statement and told:” There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing .” Jarrett, who on Tuesday night will serendipitously appear in an MSNBC town hall called ” Everyday Racism in America”, called Barr’s comments a” teach moment “.
The network’s cancellation marks something of a denouement to Barr’s rapid return to the public eye and subsequent fall from grace. It was only a few months ago that Roseanne, which went on a two-decade hiatus before ABC resurrected the series for a 10 th season, earned Donald Trump’s seal of approval following its season premiere, which, with 18 m spectators, was television’s highest-rated comedy telecast in nearly four years.
Barr, a vocal supporter of Trump’s who in February told ABC” we’re lucky to have him as a chairperson “, reportedly even received a congratulatory call from him after the season premiere. Aside from its colossal viewership, critical honors followed the reboot, too. Roseanne was praised for having its finger on the political pulse and harnessing the appeal of the original series, which Barr herself once called” television’s first feminist and working-class sitcom “.
Indeed, the show’s espouse by the political right reflected just how radically its starring had changed her tune since the ninth season finale aired in 1997.” I wrote on the original Roseanne where we used to denounce nativism, racism& homophobia ,” Danny Zuker, the executive heads producer of ABC’s Modern Family, wrote on Twitter Tuesday.” Nauseating to assure what she’s become .”
Moon Jae-in traversed into the north at the border village of Panmunjom, where the two gratified for the first time in April, the South Korean president’s office told. The two leaders discussed the US-North Korea summit, as well as implementing the joint statement released at the end of their earlier meeting.
The surprise meeting highlighted Moon’s efforts to get the historic US-North Korea talks back on track, and depicted inter-Korea relations are in a far better nation than those between Washington and Pyongyang.
In a pair of angry tweets, Trump said there was ” ZERO discrepancy” within his administration about North Korea but” if there was it wouldn’t matter “. He also disputed a report in the New York Times about the issue, claiming the” senior White House official” citied in the narrative “doesn’t exist”.
Reporters from outlets including the Times pushed back , noting that the quote to which Trump appeared to be objecting was from a background briefing on North Korea that was fully sanctioned by the White House.
Trump has faced fierce criticism over his inconsistency as a partner in the high-stakes talks. Adam Mount, director of the Defense Posture Project at the Federation of American Scientists, said on Saturday Moon’s” bold but risky” meeting with Kim was a” clear demo of how dangerous Trump’s temper tantrum was “.
” When Kim Jong-un was allowed to split the negotiations into separate ways with Trump and Moon, he gained leverage over both ,” Mount wrote on Twitter.” Moon was sitting too alone at the table today, without the full weight of the United States.
” Trump says’ everybody plays games ‘,” Mount added, referring to Trump’s response when asked about North Korea’s posture on Friday.” Moon Jae-in is not playing a game: he must keep his people safe from war. Each of Trump’s whims shakes the walls of the Blue House .”
Photos released by the South Korean presidential office indicated the two leaders espousing, shaking hands and holding intimate talks, accompanied by a single aide each. Moon was expected to announce further details on Sunday.
In their first summit in April, Kim and Moon announced vague aspirations for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and peace, which Seoul tried to sell as a breakthrough to set up the summit with Trump. But relations chilled as North Korea canceled a high-level meeting over South Korea’s military exercises with the US.
The South was caught off guard by Trump’s abrupt cancellation of the Singapore summit, quoting aggression in recent Northern korean comments. Moon said Trump’s decision left him “perplexed” and was ” very regrettable” and urged Washington and Pyongyang to establish” more direct and closer dialogue between their leaders “.
Trump’s behaviour has fanned anxieties in South Korea regarding a rival intent on driving a wedge between Washington and Seoul and a US president who believes less of a traditional confederation than his predecessors. The decision to pull out of the summit came just days after Trump hosted Moon in a White House meeting where he cast doubts on the Singapore summit and offered no support for inter-Korean progress.
In his letter to Kim cancelling the summit, Trump objected to a statement from senior envoy Choe Son Hui, who referred to vice-president Mike Pence as a” political dummy” and said it was up to the Americans whether they would” gratify us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown “.
North Korea issued an unusually restraint response, saying it was still willing to sit for talks with the US” at any time,( in) any format “.
” The first session would not solve all, but solving even one at a time in a phased style would induce the relations get better rather than attaining them get worse ,” vice-foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan said in a statement carried by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency.
Trumps cancelation of the summit meeting with North Korea reaffirms that the president and his squad dont have a strategy
Just as soon as North Korea began playing hardball, Donald Trump took his toys and went home. Who knew dealing with North Korea was so hard? Well, just about everybody. Everybody except Trump, that is.
The lack of strategy has been apparent for a while. After threatening war for months, Trump reversed course in March. Following a diplomatic thaw between North and South Korea around the Olympics, Trump announced an unprecedented summit meeting with Kim Jong-un. In the months since, Trump began setting expectations of historical things to come. He spoke of Kim as an” honorable” human. He fanned talk of get the Nobel peace prize. The White House even published commemorative coins for the summit.
The euphoria wore off speedily. In response to US menaces of regime change if diplomacy failed, North Korea returned to its usual heated rhetoric, singling out Vice-President Mike Pence and “the member states national” security adviser, John Bolton, for criticism. But these statements were likely part of the negotiations- in addition to the boilerplate criticism, North Korea also explicitlyreaffirmed Pyongyang’s commitment to dialogue. This was North Korea’s opening position.
And yet, Trump and his advisers responded by cancelling the summit. Why? The Northern korean, South Koreans and many Trump consultants are likely scratching their heads along with the rest of us. When the running gets tough, apparently Trump runs away.
The Trump team is trying to spin this as North Korea’s fault. But it’s clear that all along US officials have been- rightly- skeptical that North Korea is actually willing to give up its nuclear weapons and many doubted the wisdom of the summit. No one- not North Korea, South Korea , nor Trump’s own team- expected him to announce a summit with Kim Jong-un when the South Koreans came to brief Trump on their talks with Kim in March. But Trump rushed ahead. For some in the administration, cancelling the summit avoids Trump from accepting what they believe is a bad deal.
It’s possible that the Trump team views cancellation as a negotiating tactic- Trump and Pompeo have both said talks are still possible. But a more likely rationale is that Trump is thin-skinned, and the repeated insults from North Korea offended Trump and were used by US officials who were skeptical of the diplomacy to torpedo it. Reports indicating that this decision happened very quickly- with no prior notification of allies- suggest that, once again, Trump was winging it.
So, what happens next?
If Trump wants to return to the” maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions and” fire and frenzy” menaces, he’ll speedily realize that it’s dead for now. China has already been easing up on the pressure and will now use Trump’s cancelation of talks to justify further loosening the bolt. If Trump actually wants to start this process over again, he’ll have to begin making China with significant secondary sanctions while he’s trying to negotiate massive trade issues.
This theory also rests on the Trump team’s assumption that the” maximum pressure” forced Kim to the table. Kim’s interest in diplomacy was at most only partially fueled by the pressure: he had already achieved the ability to launch nuclear-tipped missiles to the United States and could negotiate from a position of strength. Kim also knew that Seoul was interested in diplomacy and assured an opportunity to divide the United States and South Korea.
If Trump wants to return to menaces of war- as he did in announcing his decision to cancel the summit- then he still faces the fact that war would be “catastrophic”, as Trump’s secretary of defense, James Mattis, set it.
If Trump is still interested in diplomacy- as he should be- then Trump just made his task a lot harder. South Korea was not notified about the decision- they will be angry, and rightly so. And the world will see Trump as the one who stopped the talks , not Kim. Regrettably for the United States, Kim now holds more cards than he did when the diplomacy began and he knows it- sure enough, North Korea’s first response was to take the high ground and say they’re ready to talk “any time”.
There very well may still be a path forward, but only if the Trump administration recognizes that a quick denuclearization process is a fantasy- and if they are willing to give diplomacy time to work. A continuation of the already ongoing high-level talks would test whether progress in limiting or reducing- if not removing- North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs was possible.
Like a boyfriend expressing hope of getting back together with his girlfriend while breaking up with her, Trump objective a letter addressed to Kim by stating forlornly:” If you change your mind “ve had to” do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write .” If diplomacy does get back on track, let’s all hope both sides of this relationship go into eyes wide open next time.
Michael H Fuchs is a contributing opinion writer for the Guardian US. He is also a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and a former deputy deputy secretary of state for east Asian and Pacific affairs
Vice foreign minister tells nation will not beg the US for dialogue and threatens America will savor an appalling tragedy
North Korea cast further doubt on a planned summit between its leader, Kim Jong-un, and Donald Trump, warning that Pyongyang could attain the US” savor an appalling tragedy “.
The fate of the summit is “entirely” up to the US, North Korea’s vice foreign minister Choe Son-hui said in a statement on Thursday. If the talks are cancelled, Choe suggested the two countries could engage in a” nuclear-to-nuclear showdown “.
” Whether the US will satisfy us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is wholly dependent upon the decision … of the US ,” she said.
” We will neither implore the US for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us .”
The commentaries come after Trump earlier this week said there was a” very considerable chance” the summit could be delayed.
They also follow a week of heated rhetoric in Washington, with some US officials threatening a fate similar to Libya if the North does not relinquish its nuclear weapons program. Libya dictator Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed in a Nato-backed uprising against his rule.
” In position of the remarks of the US high-ranking politicians who have not yet woken up to this stark reality and compare the DPRK to Libya that met a tragic fate, I come to think that they know too little about us ,” Choe told, referring to the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” To borrow their terms, we can also induce the US taste an appalling misfortune it has neither experienced nor even imagined up to now .”
In an interview on Fox News, US vice president Mike Pence said:” This will only objective like the Libyan model aimed if Kim Jong-un doesn’t make a bargain “. That echoed earlier comments by national security advisor John Bolton that the US was analyse Libya’s unilateral disarmament as a blueprint for negotiations with Pyongyang.
” As a person involved in the US affairs, I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid statements gushing out from the mouth of the US vice-president ,” Choe told.
She said Pence had induced” unbridled and impudent remarks that north Korea might end like Libya “.
Earlier on Wednesday, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo had said he was ” very hopeful” the summit would go ahead but it was ” ultimately up to Chairman Kim .”
New York Times reports August 2016 session at Trump Tower it says also included Israeli social media expert and Blackwater founder Erik Prince
Donald Trump Jr met with an emissary for foreign governments seeking to help his father’s presidential campaign three months before the 2016 election, the New York Times reported on Saturday.
Citing several anonymous sources with knowledge of the session, the Times said Trump Jr met at Trump Tower on 3 August 2016 with an emissary for the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Also present, the paper told, were an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation, Joel Zamel, and Erik Prince, the founder of the private military contractor formerly known as Blackwater.
Zamel represented a firm that applied several Israeli former intelligence officers and specialized in data collection and social media persuasion. At the time of the meeting, the Times stated,” the firm had already drawn up a multimillion-dollar proposal for a social media manipulation effort to help elect Mr Trump “.
The meeting, which the Times said was facilitated by Prince, is the first evidence that countries other than Russia sought to influence the US election in favor of Donald Trump.
The US intelligence community and the Senate judiciary committee agree that Russian election interference aimed to help Trump defeat his Democratic adversary, Hillary Clinton. The special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating that interference and alleged links between Trump aides and Moscow. Trump has repeatedly denied collusion and called the investigation a “witch-hunt”.
During the Trump Tower meeting, the Times said, George Nader, the emissary for the two crown princes, indicated that leaders in Saudi Arabia and the UAE wished to help Trump. Nader, the Times said, is now cooperating with Mueller.
Under US law, the involvement of foreign governments or individuals in American elections is illegal.
It is not known if anything came of the alleged offer for assistance. The Hour stated that Trump Jr responded “approvingly”.
Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for Trump Jr, told the Hours:” Prior to the 2016 election, Donald Trump Jr recalls a meeting with Erik Prince, George Nader and another individual which are likely to Joel Zamel. They pitched Mr Trump Jr on a social media platform or marketing strategy. He was not interested and that was the end of it .”
A lawyer for Zamel told the Times neither he,” nor any of his related entities, had any involvement whatsoever in the US election campaign “. The lawyer also said Zamel had” provided full cooperation to the government to assist with their investigation “.
The paper told Prince declined to comment. It quoted a lawyer for Nader as saying he had” fully cooperated with the special counsel’s investigation and will continue to do so “. The report cited” a senior official in Saudi Arabia” who it said denied Nader had ever been authorized to speak for the Saudi government.
The White House did not immediately return a request for commentary.
The allegations will bring further scrutiny to Trump Jr’s activities during the campaign. The president’s oldest son emerged as a central figure in the Russia investigation after it was disclosed last year that he facilitated a now infamous June 2016 session at Trump Tower that also involved the Trump aides Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort and a group of Russians including a lawyer with links to the Kremlin, Natalia Veselnitskaya.
The White House issued a misleading statement about the meeting, claiming it was about adoptions. It was later disclosed that the encounter was arranged when the Russians offered to provide incriminating information about Clinton. Informed of the offer, Trump Jr responded:” If it’s what you say, I love it “.
The president’s son has said his father was not well known Trump Tower session. But according to a transcript of his testimony to congressional examiners released the coming week, Trump Jr was unable to recall if any of three calls he placed to a blocked number before and after the session were to his father.
The August meeting reported by the Times was not previously known to the public. Nader became a close ally of Trump officials. He satisfied frequently with Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior consultant, and Michael Flynn, who would become Trump’s first national security adviser.
In November, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with the former Russian ambassador to the US. He has been cooperating with the special counsel.
Trump has closely aligned himself with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. His first foreign trip was to Riyadh. Last year, Trump embraced a Saudi-led siege against Qatar, a key US ally, against the counseling of his foreign policy consultants. Lately, the president withdrew from the Iran nuclear bargain- a move championed by Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.